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Old 17-05-2017, 20:17   #1
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Should we bring our 24' Bluenose to San Francisco?

My parents (in law) have a beautiful, 24 foot 1970s McVay Bluenose on Chesapeake Bay. They love the boat -- the design and the way it handles on Chesapeake Bay.

They're now moving out to the San Francisco Bay Area and are thinking about bring the boat to sail it on SF Bay. Among the hundreds of questions this brings up (cost of trailering it across the U.S., etc.) we have one critical question:

Will this 24' Bluenose sail well in San Francisco Bay? There are concerns that the boat will be much more difficult to handle under the wind conditions and currents in the bay. Would it be better to sell the Bluenose on the East Coast and find another boat that's better fit for SF Bay conditions.

Any thoughts from those both experienced with this boat and sailing in SF would be GREATLY appreciated.

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Old 17-05-2017, 20:44   #2
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Re: Should we bring our 24' Bluenose to San Francisco?

The key to sailing on the bay is reefing early and perhaps using a 110 or 100% jib. There are many older 24 foot sized boats that sail on the bay. Of course one might avoid the slot or hurricane gulch in the afternoon, till one has experienced sailing in 25-30 knots of wind. But most summer days the wind does not turn on till 1-2PM and blows till 7 PM ish. Pretty much every day in summer (may-august) September october are the nicest months. Well warmest months anyway.

You have to be mindful of the currents at any time specially during a spring tide when there can be 5 knots of current for a bit out the gate. Most of the times it's only a knot or two so not too bad.

If you own the trailer I don't see why you could not take it cross country. Of course sailboats are pretty easy to find and there are always a few for sale at any time. Check the back of Latatude 38 in the boats for sale section. Available on line for free or at any marina here in the bay again for free.

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Old 17-05-2017, 20:55   #3
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Re: Should we bring our 24' Bluenose to San Francisco?

I Googled "24 McVay Bluenose" and the image that popped up looks exactly like a boat that races in the Oakland/Alameda Estuary. In fact, there might be a whole fleet of them here or something very similar. If you don't get your answer on CF, you might send an email to the Commodores of Encinal Yacht Club and Oakland Yacht Club and ask them. There are plenty of times of the year when SF Bay has Chesapeake Bay winds, and most days of the year, you'll find youngsters in Optis sailing away in crazy wind, so just about anything seems to work here Not sure what to tell you though about trailering it that far!
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Old 17-05-2017, 21:19   #4
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Re: Should we bring our 24' Bluenose to San Francisco?

People race Etchells and Folk Boats and others in San Francisco Bay and other boats similar and/or same size. I have raced on numerous small boats in SF Bay from 20-24-26 feet. So, it is done by many people and with a wide variety of boats.

However, the prime area for SF Bay sailing can be very windy as SAILORCHIC34 mentioned, and there can be some waves or chop, especially during tide changes, with strong currents. Be prepared for a wet ride! .

There are other areas of the Bay Area that do not have as much wind, and have more protected water (the Alameda Estuary was mentioned).

IF you love the boat, bring it.

Otherwise consider selling it and find a local boat with a fleet (of more local same model boats) with which you can enjoy some racing or camaraderie.

San Francisco is an outstanding place to sail. You will have a blast! I did.

Here is a photo of a Bluenose. It looks like a nice boat.
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Ahoy All Sailors! Need experienced crew for a passage or delivery in Atlantic, Pacific, Caribbean, PNW, ICW, coastal or across an ocean anytime in 2017? I am available on 24hr notice. See my CF Profile "About Me" page for details. Happy to lend a hand!
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Old 17-05-2017, 22:42   #5
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Re: Should we bring our 24' Bluenose to San Francisco?

Look into the knarr fleet racing, looks, to me, like a similar boat just a little longer. Lots of those around.

Also, we have a big Santana 22 fleet that regularly does OD racing, check it out. So don't fret - small boat sailing is alive and well here in the San Francisco Bay. Just make sure you have your reefing system down.
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Old 17-05-2017, 23:08   #6
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Re: Should we bring our 24' Bluenose to San Francisco?

Also, the trick in the late Spring/Summer is to go out early and sail back downwind in the early afternoon. Used to be in the estuary and it was the best! Go out at 9 or 10am, many motor up the estuary since the wind is usually on the nose, narrow channel and lots of shipping/ferry traffic. But short tacking works too of course. It usually starts honking after Treasure Island. If its really windy keep TI to stbd and sail by the cityfront it is usually less windy towards the city, further away from the slot. After that point there are several options (for lunch: Ayala Cove, Clipper Cove, China Camp, Sams, Aquatic Park and more). Then point back towards Oakland and fly home in 15-20kt breeze home by 3/4.

Btw, I had a blast on a friends Santana 22 on a wild, windy day across to The Ramp (so of the bay bridge) in slot like conditions, she did great, us girls had a total blast. No concerns at all that we were ever in trouble.
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Old 18-05-2017, 08:58   #7
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Re: Should we bring our 24' Bluenose to San Francisco?

That little boat would be an absolute joy on Vancouver's English Bay where the micro-climate is much like that of SF Bay with summer winds in the bay generated predominately by the thermal effects of the embracing city.

Afternoon winds of 20 knots are far from unusual and just the cat's miow for some exciting sailing in a boat of this type. Like all good sailboats the Bluenose carries more sail than is common in "modern" boats of her size (i.e. she has a great Sail Area/Displacement Ratio). Sails are made to be reefed precisely for that reason.

Towards supper time, as the sun goes lower in the sky, the local winds abate, and you'll be glad of that high SA/D ratio. Later still, at sunset, the ONshore wind dies away as the concrete jungles ashore no longer assert their thermal effect, and the wind changes to an OFFshore wind of 2 or 3 knots because the water in the bay, rather that adjacent concrete and blacktop, asserts its thermal dominance. Then you sneak home along the shore and you are gladder still that you have a lot of canvass.

There are a great many nostalgic sailing types resident on the "left coast". I would think that they would love to see such a lovely little "antique" here.

As for currents - don't worry about it. It'll take your parents all of a week-end to learn the fundamentals. Local knowledge will come via a careful, cautious exploration of the local waters after having consulted the relevant tide and current tables. And, of course, you can always ask someone here who already has the local knowledge.

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Old 18-05-2017, 12:32   #8
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Re: Should we bring our 24' Bluenose to San Francisco?

Sure! If it's good enough for Nova Scotia it's good enough for SF Bay. I keep my Montgomery 17 here, fun. Try starting in Alameda. Also Monterrey Bay out of Santa Cruz is a lot of fun.
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Old 18-05-2017, 12:55   #9
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Re: Should we bring our 24' Bluenose to San Francisco?

your gonna need a snorkel and a dry suit
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Old 18-05-2017, 13:14   #10
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Re: Should we bring our 24' Bluenose to San Francisco?

The Bluenose 24 is a fine little boat. There were a couple at the RMC sailing club, long ago, and there are still a few in our area.

Although the sailing attributes should not be an issue, you might consider the costs. Moving a boat cross country may cost more than the value of the boat. It may be simpler and cheaper, to sell the boat, then buy something when you get out there.

If the boat has great sentimental value, then you should do as you please.
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Old 18-05-2017, 16:56   #11
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Re: Should we bring our 24' Bluenose to San Francisco?

Perfect! You may get a lot of spray on certain days in certain spots, but that is a great boat! You'll have a blast! You may want to add some reef cringles to the main though.
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Old 18-05-2017, 17:23   #12
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Re: Should we bring our 24' Bluenose to San Francisco?

Great boat for The Bay (I sailed there for 35 years). Read Kimball Livingston's superb book Sailing The Bay. ONLY book you'll ever need for there.
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Old 18-05-2017, 19:34   #13
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Re: Should we bring our 24' Bluenose to San Francisco?

Used to be a Blue nose on the same dock when we were at the Oakland Yacht Club years ago. We now live on the Chesapeake, so if you don't take it, sell it to me!! It is a beautiful boat. You will like sailing on SF bay.

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Old 18-05-2017, 19:39   #14
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Re: Should we bring our 24' Bluenose to San Francisco?

Just hang on for dear life......or move to San Diego.
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Old 19-05-2017, 05:29   #15
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Re: Should we bring our 24' Bluenose to San Francisco?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Catechi.

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